Photo Credit: Reuters
WhatsApp has been spotted integrating digital wallet Novi that would allow users to make payments and transfer money globally via the instant messaging app through a bank or card. Some recent WhatsApp for Android beta releases have suggested the update. The platform may also require users to submit their identity documents for verification. Although WhatsApp has not yet confirmed the integration, WhatsApp's parent Facebook did announce plans to bring all its payments and financial offerings under the Nova brand while launching ‘Meta' as its new business identity.
XDA Developers reports that new lines of code (spotted while tearing down WhatsApp for Android beta version 22.214.171.124) suggest the Novi integration. The text within the code particularly shows that it would allow users to send money globally through the digital wallet.
WhatsApp users may be asked to upload their documents for verification before enabling the new money transfer experience. Further, users would also be required to go through a video selfie for identity verification.
Late last month, WhatsApp beta tracker WABetaInfo reported the Novi integration references within the beta version 126.96.36.199. A screenshot was also shared online to suggest the new experience.
Shortly after Facebook launched its ‘Meta' renaming last month, David Marcus, Head of FinTech unit at Meta announced that the parent company is unifying its payments and financial services unit and products under the Novi brand.
“Some of these products are branded Facebook Pay, some are unbranded, and our wallet operates under the Novi brand. So over time, we will unify all existing and future payments and financial services experiences under the Novi brand,” the executive had said.
Facebook initially rolled out its Novi digital wallet as a small pilot in the US and Guatemala to enter the digital remittances space. It, however, appears to go beyond these two markets and offer Novi to a large number of WhatsApp users over time.
It is important to note that the initial references suggesting the new integration are specifically sourced from beta testing channels. This means that WhatsApp (or parent Meta) may have some different plans. The change is also not likely to take place in India in the near future due to regulatory restrictions.
Gadgets 360 has reached out to WhatsApp for a comment on the development and will update this space when the company responds.